Z&A Court of Appeals Victory!

Court of Appeals


In February 2014, G4S secured a verdict in favor of its client in a bodily injury matter filed in Denver District Court.  Partners Muliha Khan and Richard Angell tried the case.

Z&A was hired as defense counsel for a national security company contracted to provide security services to a downtown bank.  Plaintiff accessed the bank to get to her office in an adjoining building.  Plaintiff claimed she suffered injury to her shoulder in attempting to open a door in the bank.  Specifically, Plaintiff claimed Defendant failed to unlock the door. The case proceeded to trial before a jury where a verdict was returned in favor of the defense, finding that the Defendant security company was not negligent and thus it was not the cause of any injuries, damages or losses claimed by Plaintiff.

Plaintiff appealed on two bases. First, Plaintiff argued that Defendant’s alleged failure to unlock the door amounted to a violation of the applicable building code, resulting in a negligence per se claim.  Therefore, Plaintiff claimed that the trial court erred in declining to instruct the jury on negligence per se. Second, Plaintiff asserted improper denial of a motion for a new trial on the same grounds.

In the appeal, Z&A argued that the building code at issue did not apply to the Defendant security company, as the Defendant had no control over the “construction or selection” of the door. Regardless, Z&A reasoned that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate a crucial component of negligence per se: “that her shoulder injuries were of the kind the Code provision was enacted to prevent.” The Court of Appeals agreed with Z&A upholding the lower court’s judgment.

If you are interested, please read the published opinion in its entirety.